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New England Biolabs Improves Quality of Life with Xsigo

Life Sciences Firm Deploys Xsigo Virtual I/O to Increase Efficiency and Accelerate Server Management

Xsigo Systems today announced that New England Biolabs (NEB) has successfully deployed Xsigo virtual I/O as part of an ongoing VMware integration project. By optimizing NEB's back-office computing needs with virtual servers managed with virtual I/O from Xsigo, NEB has been able to reduce operating expenses and deliver new levels of efficiency.

With Xsigo's software-based, non-disruptive I/O management, the company saved thousands of dollars in capital costs by standardizing server configurations, achieved greater uptime by eliminating I/O-related outages, and reduced staff workloads by completing server management tasks more efficiently.

"At NEB, we embarked on a process to re-architect our datacenter operations to increase efficiency and to address current and future computing capacity needs," said Tom Peacock, IT Core Services at NEB. "Xsigo virtual I/O will help us to better plan, design, manufacture, package, sell and support our products by laying a flexible foundation that will support a more agile NEB IT department, which in turn will allow us to support our research & business teams more effectively."

NEB deployed Xsigo virtual I/O in conjunction with IBM BladeCenter servers, EMC Clariion Fibre Channel storage, and NetApp Fibre Channel and NAS storage. Intended to support the company's entire back-office computing needs -- including Microsoft SQL, Exchange and SharePoint, as well as proprietary research and management applications -- the virtualization deployment uses the VMware ESX platform.

"Before Xsigo, configuring I/O on the IBM BladeCenter was complicated because a different I/O setup was needed for each application," Peacock continued. "Each configuration demanded a specific combination of costly I/O cards, required shutting down the server box to install them, and then consumed hours of administrator time for configuration tasks. Xsigo lets us install one set of mezzanine cards on the blades and never touch it again. It's really simple."

Xsigo virtual I/O, recently honored as a Finalist in the Hardware Virtualization category in the Best of Show Awards at VMworld 2009, eliminates the myriad of cards and cables typically associated with server I/O, replacing them with a wire-once infrastructure and virtual NICs and HBAs that allow redundant connections to be configured on-the-fly, without server downtime.

"We saw the benefits of virtual I/O on the first day. Before Xsigo, we had a connectivity problem with an ESX host: a new application required a private network but we had no extra server ports available. We had been working for a month to get the needed cards and cabling installed," Peacock concluded. "With Xsigo virtual I/O, we had the extra I/O configured in five minutes. Plus, I have the comfort of knowing that if a server goes down I can transfer that entire VMware instance to another server by simply moving the I/O. Since there's no remapping or reconfiguration required, I would be back up and running in minutes, not days."

"We are thrilled that New England Biolabs capitalized on the flexibility of Xsigo virtual I/O to accelerate their transition from a bare-metal to a virtualized environment," said Lloyd Carney, CEO at Xsigo. "Agility is one of the principle benefits of Xsigo I/O virtualization because it simplifies and accelerates server management and helps data center managers get more done, with fewer resources, in less time."

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